Security officials in Mali say suspected Tuareg rebels have kidnapped at least 15 government soldiers.
The officials say the soldiers were taken hostage Sunday in a remote town, Tedjerete, in the country's northeast.
They say the kidnappers initially grabbed about 23 soldiers before letting several go and fleeing with the rest toward neighboring Niger.
Tuareg rebels in northern Niger launched an uprising in February, saying Niger's government has violated a 1995 peace accord.
Fighters from the nomadic Tuareg group also rebelled against Mali's government in the early 1990s.
The kidnapped soldiers had been assigned to protect technicians who were working to prevent a locust infestation.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.